OxyFile #115

[Medical students and alternative medicine--a survey] 

Author:  Andritzky W 
Address: Institut fŸr Medizinische Psychologie, 
         UniversitŠt DŸsseldorf. 

Source:  Gesundheitswesen, 1995 Jun, 57:6, 345-8 


In the last decade, the growing interest and use of alternative 
healing methods among practitioners and patients has been 
documented in many empirical studies. The present inquiry of n = 
140 undergraduate medical students at the University of DŸsseldorf 
reveals a continually increasing knowledge of methods, self-
experience as patients or lay persons, and an interest in learning 
one or more techniques. The highest interest in acquiring a 
working knowledge of a method is for acupuncture (55.7%), 
homoeopathy (42.1%), autogenous training (24.9%), and reflex-
zonetherapies (11.4%). On a five-point-rating scale (3 = no 
effect) for estimated effectiveness, acupuncture, music therapy, 
autogenous training, massage, chiropractics (each 1.7) and 
homoeopathy (1.9) ranked high, whereas esoteric methods like 
laying-on-of-hands (3.3), hypnosis (2.5) and ozone and oxygen 
therapies (2.9) were low. The average score of 2.1 for all 
alternative methods indicates that they are generally considered 
more effective than not. A shift from a bio-medical "paradigm" 
towards psychosomatic and biopsychosocial thinking can be 
hypothesized, since (body-) psychotherapies (2.0) and body 
therapies (1.7) are rated highly effective.